Welcome back, my friends, to the crime that never ends. I’m so glad you attend. Come inside, come inside.
Our second winner in Grumpy’s 2nd Annual Crepe Murder Contest goes to Atlanta landscape designer Sarah Price for this stunning example of horticultural butchery. Unlike Jeff Minnich from yesterday, who photographed his winner in a distant city to prevent reprisals, Sarah didn’t hesitate to risk life, limb, and the probably egging of her house to photograph these crepe myrtles in Atlanta’s Virginia Highlands neighborhood. Sarah, all of Grumpiana is now standing on its feet saluting your bravery. Well done!
As Sarah points out, what’s so neat here is that the homeowners decapitated this pair of crepe myrtles at two different heights, proving they had a purpose in mind, although we can’t imagine what that would be. “I’m very embarrassed on their behalf,” she says. But perhaps we shouldn’t judge them too harshly. They are, after all, flying Old Glory, so maybe they mistook their crepe myrtles for British soldiers. Happens all the time.
What’s Crepe Murder?
For the uninitiated, crepe murder refers to the odious practice of using chainsaws and loppers to reduce beautiful crepe myrtles to hideous stumps every spring. Not only does this ruin their sculptural form, but it also prevents them from developing that wonderfully mottled, smooth, flaky bark so welcome in the winter landscape. Moreover, the long, whiplike branches that grow from the stumps are too weak to hold up the flowers.
Like every winner, Sarah will receive a lavender ‘Early Bird’ crepe myrtle from our Southern Living Plant Collection. This crepe myrtle grows only 8 feet tall and never needs pruning. Come back tomorrow to see our next winner. I promise it’ll be even uglier.